What would you choose to cut if you were tasked with solving your city’s budget shortfall? This is a great exercise from the New York Times I ran across that will test your decision making process. E-mail your thoughts, and let’s discuss your reasoning…
The Department of Finance in the City of Pasadena, through City Manager Michael Beck, recommended budget reductions to address the $3.5 million projected general fund shortfall for 2012. This is in addition to the $4.7 million withstanding budgeting shortfall.
Due to the leadership of the City Council and efforts of dedicated City staff over the past three years, the City has worked to minimize the fiscal challenges resulting from the economic downturn.
It is recommended that the city council:
- Reduce appropriated expenditures and fulltime equivalents in the various General Fund departments and programs;
- Adopt a resolution increasing the amount to be transferred from the Light and Power Fund to the General fund for fiscal year 2012 from 8 percent of gross revenues to 10 percent, and prepare future General Fund projections utilizing a 9 percent transfer rate.
- Adjust estimated revenues in the General Fund to reflect revised estimates based on the revenue decreases experienced in FY11 and the increased revenues anticipated from the recommendations made in the report.
Read the report here
Personnel-related expenses account for more than 75 percent of all General Fund operating expenditures. Since 2009 the City has eliminated 286 Full-time Equivalents. Many of these eliminations were vacant positions. Only 29 employees to date have been laid off, and 94 have taken advantage of voluntary early separation incentives.
Due to the economic downturn, even conservative measures are not solving the deficit problem. Sales tax revenue stands at its lowest level since 2002.